What is a Creative Strategy and Why is it Important to Your Marketing?

Creative Strategy
Getty Images / Kelvin Murray

How you decide to introduce your brand to the world is one of the most important business decisions you will make. Even after a successful introduction, how you continue to present your brand’s image is an on-going effort. Developing a brand’s creative strategy requires an investment of your attention and a portion of your marketing budget.   
 
Creative strategy is the intentional and strategic approach a company takes in developing and implementing steps that will ensure and support the business’ growth.

Essentially, it is the outline or blueprint of how the end goals will ultimately be met. Your creative strategy  provides the guiding principles for copywriters and art directors who are assigned to develop the advertisement. Within the context of that assignment, any ad that is then created should conform to that strategy.  A creative strategy contains moving parts. Each of these parts plays an integral role in meeting the goals that are set. The moving parts consist of detailed market research, an imaging plan, and effective strategic delivery. 

What questions should you ask when developing your creative strategy?

  1. What is the story of your business?
  2. What are your primary objectives?
  3. Who is your target audience?
  4. What are your customers looking for?
  5. What calls to action will you utilize?
  6. What is the offering, what's in it for the consumer?
  7. What marketing channels will you use?
  8. What deliverables will you need?
  1. What budget can you put towards your creative strategy?
  2. What are the mandatories that need to be on your creative assets? Do you want the telephone number, email address or website address?  Sadly, this question is often missed.
  3. What reference materials will you use to create your creative strategy?
  4. What is your story?

    When considering creative strategy, be sure to remain focused on effective communication. This can be lost in the midst of all the planning, but it is critical. The overall goal of any brand strategy is to effectively communicate to the public. What you choose to communicate is up to you and is where you get to be creative. However, making sure the public actually gets the message you intend can be the tricky part. 
     
    Consider your long-term goals when developing your creative strategy. Pay attention to how much room you allow for growth. You do not want to box yourself into a genre or an image that is stifling. This is where market research will aid in the process. 
     
    Market research is just as important as anything else. Market testing for a specific product, image or message is critical. Failing to plan for and adapt to the finicky moods of the consumer is a sure-fire way to lose precious dollars and countless hours. By having to go back to the proverbial "drawing board," you could completely tank your brand’s opportunities by wasting time.

     
     
    Imaging is something you want to spend some time on when developing your strategy. Consider colors, sizes, what may be seen as offensive, long-term appeal and anything else that may come into play once your brand’s name is attached to that image. 
     
    The final piece of the puzzle is how you choose to deliver your work to the public. Implementing your creative strategy plan is the ultimate test. For this leg of the plan to be successful, you need to make sure that you use powerful copy and consistent delivery over a broad range of the market. Staying true to the creative plan and working each aspect of it will get you to your goal. 
     
    If all fails, you can always begin again as there are different types of creative strategies available. There are emotional creative strategies, rational creative strategies, lifestyle creative strategies and others, which focus on different ways to appeal to the market. 
     
    A creative strategy is your brand’s bible. Developing and effectively implementing this crucial aspect of your business is of the utmost importance. 

    Continue Reading...